• Seven Great Bed and Breakfasts

Five Great Bed and Breakfasts

Inside View to Five Great Charleston SC Bed and Breakfast Values We have been touring and booking bed and breakfasts for over 15 years in Charleston South Carolina. We've heard back from dozens of guests, most of them very pleased and we thought we'd share with you some of our thoughts to help you with your choice. Speaking of choice, if you want to have yours, you'll want to plan at least a couple of months in advance.

In the high season months of September, October, March, April and May, there are many more people wanting to spend their weekend getaway in Charleston than there are rooms to accommodate them, and since only ten percent of the room inventory is bed and breakfast rooms, if you wait, you'll be picking from leftovers or from nothing at all. Another factor is cost.

If you're hoping to get a room in high season for under $250, the best thing to do is to give yourself about four months. Repeat visitors know where they are, and they know to make their plans well in advance. Inside the two month window, you should expect what's left to be in the $250-$400 range. There are a couple of exceptions which we'll share in this report.

First, let's talk about whether you really want to stay in a bed and breakfast. The good things about staying in a bed and breakfast are as follows:

1. Interacting with your hosts. Most innkeepers and bed and breakfast owners have led interesting lives and many appreciate the finer things in antiques, art, and history.

2. Interacting with other guests. Most bed and breakfasts today are equipped with modern fixtures, especially private baths, and are very comfortable. However, bed and breakfast regulars are typically going to be more adventurous, friendly and outgoing than your average traveler. They welcome the opportunity to meet new and exciting people.

3. Atmosphere. Charm, grace and history along with the warmth supplied by the innkeeper and other guests combine to create an interesting atmosphere.

4. History. History lovers appreciate that they are staying in what was once the Governors Mansion, or sharing the same space as a past president or signer of the constitution.

What's possibly not so great?

1. Consistency. You really don't know what you're going to get and surprises should be expected in some cases. All of the Charleston inns look like AAA five diamond resorts on the internet, yet only a few measure up to consistent standards.

2. Modern Conveniences. Most Charleston bed and breakfast rooms have telephones and TV's but don't expect them to be state of the art, and don't be surprised if making a phone call is harder than what you'd expect from a standard hotel. Also, some bed and breakfast rooms have window air conditioning units. They may or may not have temperature regulators for the hot water, so your shower could possibly be an alarming experience when your neighbor flushes the toilette.

3. Privacy. If you or your neighbor is a loud snorer, there's a chance you're both going to know about it. I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

Charleston has a great selection of bed and breakfasts with anywhere from one to 21 rooms. I've selected these seven because I think they clearly stand out from the crowd, especially when it comes to value. 90% of the lodging rooms in the city are hotel rooms, and I think that if more people knew the whole story, they would be much more inclined to try one of these bed and breakfast choices.

One of the biggest issues with bed and breakfasts in general is a perceived lack of consistency. If you are less adventurous than the typical bed and breakfast traveler, I think you'd still be very comfortable in any of these seven properties.

I am a light sleeper and pretty picky, and I've stayed at both the Barksdale House Inn and Ansonborough Inn, and they were both very comfortable and quiet. (I mention these two because they are on the lower end of the price scale.)

Five Great Values:

Barksdale House Inn

Wentworth Mansion

John Rutledge House

Ansonborough Inn

Governors House Inn

Prices are subject to change without notice.

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